Lately, as I have been filling out job applications yet again, I have had to fill out several profiling questions on various Web sites. My 11-year-old self would have checked "Other" and put in "Russian Jew," as I was extremely excited to identify myself as someone who may be of Israeli descent. But I learned that really I'm just white and nobody cares, so that's what I put. (Besides, I don't want a repeat of that previous neighbor who asked me if my parents and I speak Hebrew together... wait, what?)
After reading a particular article posted on Facebook from a church friend at Fellowship Greenville - http://www.russellmoore.com/2008/05/29/transracial-adoption-the-gospel-and-you/
...I decided to blog about something. As we church searched, I made a comment that seemed very obvious to me, but I realized that not many people think about it. I refuse to make my home church a place where I only see white people.
There are several reasons for this.
First of all, I grew up in a church that was filled with people of all different races, and so I thought all churches just loved people in all their variety, and that God does, too. Well, I was wrong about all churches - true churches, yes - but it taught me from an early age that God made variety and loves variety. I want that for my children. I grew up and would meet people and I would just know them... I didn't think "She's Hispanic, she's black, she's white, she's Asian." (With the exception of my best friend calling me orange... I knew I wasn't white and that proves it!)
Secondly, I would hate to be a part of a congregation where I couldn't bring my friend, someone who needs to hear about Jesus, or someone who's church seeking like me, because they wouldn't be welcomed. That would be so, so sad, if a difference so superficial got in the way of someone hearing God's Word and growing in His word.
And, honestly, if I bring someone who's Asian and all they see is white people, maybe it would be hard to feel connected. I think I've been to a couple of services where I've been the only white person, but I didn't really feel like that was important or on my mind, because I was welcomed, engaged, and people took the time to really have conversations with me. But I can imagine it would be nice to see someone else there that looks like me. I think that's human. (Personally, I don't think I'd care. I'm more about where God's leading me.)
So, I'm comfortable calling our new church home, and I know I might be weird for even thinking about these things, but I'm not afraid to think about any subject, or discuss it. Also, I'm not saying all churches have to be like evenly mixed or something. There are some churches that are culturally knit closer than others - I know one of my old churches had a whole congregation that met on Sunday nights that was all Spanish speaking, and another all Arabic speaking people, and I was invited to attend the Arabic services (but I was working in the nursery and could not). I just refuse to be a part of a close minded congregation that isn't focused on the Gospel and more focused on people's clothes, hair styles, skin color, makeup, weight, etc.
Oh, and one more thing... how would my sister have felt?